Sooo I drive a 370z as my daily..I have a 350z as well. I also have a turboed 99 Miata I'm almost done building for drift. Recently I picked up a 240sx shell for about $1500 (talked the guy down) for Fathers Day. Shell came with new paint, aftermarket wheels and body kit. No engine or transmission.
Interior was gutted but I still have all the parts. I'm going to do a street build with my dad.
Now... here is where I piss everyone off. I'm dropping a Chevy 350 SB in it with automatic turbo trans. Aluminum corvette heads to reduce weight. Engine is fully built with flat top pistons, ARP head studs, etc and board over from the machine shop. Along with that, will be purchasing a serpentine chrome conversion kit to retain power steering and AC.
My dad is a mechanic and can build / fix anything. I've already been doing research on this particular type of build. My dad has been wanting to do it since 2009. So for Fathers Day I bought him the shell. He can also weld and do fabrication as needed. The only thing we need is to buy a lift for the drive way and a pipe bender. We need a lift because he's getting too old (lol) and to help fix any rust underneath.
Some things I know I will need to do is:
1) Cut some of the firewall out to move the engine and transmission back as far as possible and closest to the firewall as we can to help with weight distribution. We want it to be street legal but also want to be able to drift for fun if needed. When drifting, I know too much weight on the front can be good and bad. Good because it lifts the rear end, but bad because it affects the steering making it harder to control.
2) Replace entire rear end and custom drive shaft. My dad was thinking of 4 link suspension on the rear (might convince him to bag it, who knows). The rear end suspension and sway bar has quite a bit of rust with regards to the suspension and hub assembly. The frame itself seems solid. So the entire rear end is getting replaced, for sure.
3) Hoping I can create my own wire harness or use part of the old harness to keep most of the electronics working (radio, headlights, etc). Anything related to the engine will prob be zip tied off out the way or removed completely from the harness. (engine connectors, sensors, etc). The main thing is retaining the headlights, brake lights, turn signals, windshield wipers, etc... the windows are manual, so no need to worry about power windows at least.
4) Oil pan will need modification to make the engine fit. I found that the oil pan should match one in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUceFyT3ICA
. We will probably find a similar oil pan online and cut/re-weld it for fitment.
5) Probably a hole cut in the hood for the carb to stick out a little and will just cover the hole with a nice scoop
6) For brakes.. probably gonna use some Brembo z33s or just stock z33 brakes. Not looking to spend $1000 just on brakes.
7) Racing fuel cell in the trunk with aftermarket fuel pump
8) Gotta throw a spoiler on the back
The block we have should be putting out about 350-400HP at minimum with the mods we have done to it. Possibly more. It was in a weight reduced cutless and lifted the wheels on take off.
I guess my main concern is mainly with the suspension. Since the block is a bit heavier than the KA24 fully dressed, would standard coil over suspension work? Or would I need to get some BC Racing coil overs with upgraded springs or upgraded struts (assuming we don't use 4 link suspension kit or bag the car out).
For the rear end... I'm thinking my dad will get a driveshaft and rear-end from a Camero or older Corvette and modify the length and put an entire new rear end in with posi / LSD. Not sure what type of gear he will go with, but its only a 4 speed (maybe 3 speed?) turbo auto trans. I'm gonna try and convince him to use a 5 speed manual instead since the car is already set up for manual, and I want it to have a clutch in case I do decide to do some drifting.
Anyways, his job is to handle the mechanical and custom fabrication side of things, while my job is to handle interior and electronics. I'm gonna use this project car as a way to learn more about wiring diagrams and upholstery. We're going with 2 buckets seats in the front with 3 point harness at minimum and probably a 4 point cage at minimum as well. Then the back of the car I want to install the stock interior back seats and reupholster the seats with black leather to match the black bucket seats. Same thing for the door panels. I want to remove the crappy cloth from the door panels and put matching leather. Probably need a heat gun to make it fit. Will use pleather / vinyl probably for the door panels.
I don't care to hear about how this is "a stupid idea". I make plenty of money and have no wife and no kids. I don't care how much this build will cost. I'm estimating 12-18 months to finish the build once we actually start it ( 4-6 months from now). So prob a year or so before it is 100%.
We already have the engine and transmission. From here its just handling the rear end/driveshaft and getting the interior and electronics working properly. Even if I had an SR20 or RB imported with the transmission, I'm looking at $3000+, and I will still need to tear it down and rebuild the engine and transmission before I feel safe installing it in the shell. Rather than waste time and money on the SR or RB import, I can get GM parts super cheap in any auto part store and online.
I'm only here to ask for some advice on what type of things to look for fitting the engine and transmission in the car itself and help with weight distribution. I've found a handful of 350 SBC posts on a few sites with a handful of tips i will be using.
I'm also attaching the picture of the shell I picked up. It's absolutely beautiful. I believe it is the Z1 Corvette Cybermetallic cide. professionally painted. The paint alone was almost $2000 and warrantied. Has 17 inch aftermarket wheels as well. (need restoration, but will be nice). i got the guy down from $3000 to a fair price I think.
The car is being towed to my house at the beginning of the month and I'm gonna finish gutting the entire inside and start preparing the inside of the for paint/heat protection as well as prepping the engine bay for paint.
I'm purchasing the following serpentine conversion kit: https://www.amazon.com/Chevy-Small-Bock ... B01D0L81RE
. We have a guy who will be able to make the stock 240sx AC lines work with this kit, and I'm sure we can get the power steering to work as well. The block will probably be painted black, intake would be aluminum and the rest chrome. It's gonna be pretty under that hood.
With regards to the dash cluster, we're just going to do our own metal cut out, paint it black, and use aftermarket AEM gauges. The rest of the interior will be stock.
Anyways, any tips/advice would be cool. Any negative feedback, well I'll probably ignore entirely. My dad is an old school hot rod guy and has built plenty of 350 SBC engines and had them in Cameros, Cutlesses, Chevy S10 trucks, etc. He's always been a drag racer but he wants a nice street car with power that we can repair for cheap when it breaks. SR20 and RB engines... the parts are expensive and hard to come by unless you special order them. And he always wanted a Frankenstein 240sx. Since we have the 350 laying around...it's time to put it to use. He really wanted a 280z but I couldn't find him one for a good price.
Thanks in advance.